Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 12

Qigong15 - The Home of Qigong Goodness online..

QIGONG15

7 common mistakes that beginners make in chi kung and how to avoid them...

7 BEGINNER MISTAKES.
The material for this report was originally displayed on my Qigong15 blog. I decided that it would be helpful to collect all 7 common

mistkes and reproduce them here in one resource. Bear in mind as you read this report that these mistakes are presented in no particular order or

frequency or severity. Apart from mistake #7 I have made all of these mistakes over the last decade and it is my hope that you can learn from them.

Today Id like to start a new series looking at 7 of the most common mistakes that beginners make in Chi Kung/Qigong. In no particular order, lets look at mistake number 1: Qigong Beginners Mistake #1 - Not Relaxing Enough Lets get one thing clear right from the start. If you cant relax, you cant do chi kung simple. Many people practice chi kung with the aim of being able to relax more. But being able to relax is only the start of practicing chi kung. Ive lost count of the number of times Ive stood next to a beginner in a chi kung class, told them to relax and being told: But I am relaxed. And they tell me this with their shoulders up by their ears! Its incredible how much tension we can store and still think we are relaxed. To begin to practice chi kung correctly we must learn to not only relax physically, but to relax mentally, emotionally and spiritually. If we can do this well we will achieve one of the core skills of chi kung that of entering a Qigong State of Mind (QSOM). We start to learn how to relax enough to enter a QSOM by: Physically systematically relaxing the body from head to toe. Emotionally let go of any feelings, worries, concerns or anxieties (often easier said than done) Mentally let go of all thoughts, if the mind was a pond, and thoughts were ripples, youd want the pond to be ripple free. Spiritually the very best way I have found over the years to relax spiritually is to Smile From Your Heart. This is a whole series of posts in its own right. I talk a lot more about this in my Qigong Secrets Home Study Course. When I guide my students through entering a QSOM, each time I like to encourage them to relax even more than before. At the end of the relaxation I ask them to give themselves a score from 1 to 10 of how relaxed they are. 1 being not at all and 10 being so chilled I cant remember who or what I am. I then ask them to see if they can increase their score by another point. The benets of relaxing in this way are enormous. Its a real joy to see the transformation on peoples faces and in their bodies after just a few minutes of entering a QSOM. The ultimate aim of this practice is to be able to be fully relaxed i.e. to enter a QSOM in a single breath. So that if you were suddenly asked to give an impromptu speech, youd just take a breath, enter a QSOM and give a great speech. Marcus Santer Qigong15 - The Home of Qigong Goodness...

But lets not kid ourselves, this take practice, practice, practice! Qigong Beginners Mistake #2 - Not Establishing A Daily Practice The second mistake that beginners make in chi kung/qigong is not establishing a daily practice as quickly as possible. And this is very common. Its a mistake I made myself when I started and its one my new students regularly make. Some of them only practice weekly when they come to class! Now you know better, you know that in order to get the benets of increased vitality, improved health etc of qigong, you have to practice it daily. Because whilst qigong is powerful, its no 30 day miracle cure. The great thing about the practice of qigong though is that every time you do practice, if you are practicing correctly you do get immediate benets like feeling relaxed, feeling alert, feeling energised, even just feeling better than before you started your practice. So its not like its hard to set up a regular practice. Im only kidding. Because I know from experience that it is for many people. I wrote a blog post sharing 10 ways to set up regular chi kung practice and if youre like many new students having difculty setting up a regular daily chi kung practice, I think youll nd it really useful. You see if youre practice is sporadic, then your results will at best be sporadic. If you practice for 3 days and then have a day off, and then practice for 2 days and have 2 days off etc then its a little bit like constantly turning the heat off a pan of water before it ever has chance to boil. Many students nd that getting clear on their aims and objectives, the reasons why they are practicing qigong and the specic benets they want to get from it really helps to keep motivation high. I cover this aspect in great detail in my Qigong Secrets Home Study course, Ive created a simple form I call The Route of the Masters that helps you to gain this level of clarity about your practice. If you nd youre having difculty with your practice, sit down with a piece of paper and write down exactly what you wanted to gain from the practice of qigong. Sometimes this process itself is enough to kick start your enthusiasm.

Marcus Santer

Qigong15 - The Home of Qigong Goodness...

At the end of the day if your qigong practice is to evolve from something you do to being a part of who you are you simply have to enjoy it. If you dont enjoy your practice of qigong I would ask you why. If the answer to that question was un-resolvable then I would suggest its time for you to nd something that you do enjoy. Lifes too short to waste on activities we dont enjoy. Qigong Beginners Mistake #3 - Not Following Instructions A big mistake that beginners make with chi kung/qigong is not following instructions. A classic example I see all the time when teaching is this one: Me: Dont do anything, just watch me as I perform Shooting Arrows Left Right - two or three people in the class ignore what Ive just said and start to copy me - Classic =) Another personal favourite of mine is when I ask students to breathe in through their noses, and out through their mouths. I often threaten to go outside to get some small sticks to keep their mouths open. Im always amazed how difcult and instruction this is for some to follow. Im reminded here of the Three Requirements for Success. Let me just get a copy of the text from my book (Shaolin Chi Kung 18 Exercises To Help You Live A Longer, Healthier and Happier Life). Here we go taken from p.140 No matter what you wish to learn and master, whether it is tennis, running, swimming, driving or Shaolin Chi Kung, there are 3 essential requirements for your success. They are: The Master You must learn from someone who is a master of what you wish to excel at, or at least a competent instructor. Genuine masters of any type are understandably rare and/or hard to come into contact with. If your Vision, Aims and Objectives are all in alignment though, you will do what it takes to learn from the best master you can. The Method The method you learn must have a history of consistently achieving results that match your Vision, Aims and Objectives. If it doesnt then it is unlikely that you will meet your needs. It is worth researching what methods are available before committing to one. This process will be made easier if your Vision, Aims and Objectives are very clear. The Student This is the most important requirement of all YOU! You may have the best master in the world teaching the best method. But if you dont put in the work, follow the instructions and persevere then you will be wasting your time and the masters time. If the master tells you to walk over a bridge and drop a pebble into the stream every day. Do it! Sigung Ho Fatt Nam was told to practice horse stance every day by his master and for 6 months was shown nothing more. Marcus Santer Qigong15 - The Home of Qigong Goodness...

Even though Sigung Ho was a martial arts master in his own rights, he followed his masters instructions. This is being a good student. Good students are perhaps even rarer than masters! So, if you want to succeed with your chi kung practice, do your best to be a good student and that means follow the instructions given to the best of your ability. Qigong Beginners Mistake #4 - Round Pegs & Square Holes This is one common mistake that drives me mad: when students bring their western concepts of what exercise should be to chi kung. I can spot it a mile away because it took me about a year and a half to make the shift from a western exercise mentality to the chi kung approach. In my past I have been: A YMCA qualied personal tness trainer Heavily into body building Triathlete A 10K road racer An active member of the Rowntrees Athletic Club (before they were bought out by Nestle)

What Im telling you is that I used to be deeply entrenched into the mainstream western approach to health and vitality. Im sure youve heard these mantras: Feel the burn, no pain no gain, rest is for wimps and so on. Do you realise how dangerous these slogans are? When I used to body build (well, try and body build, being an ecto-morph and not wanting to take steroids meant it was really tough to get BIG) if I came out of the gym and I wasnt aching, feeling dizzy, or hadnt vomited then I felt like I hadnt really pushed myself hard enough. When I was training for my rst Triathlon, I was 60 miles away from home on the Yorkshire Moors and I hit the wall I tell you its not funny. I fell off my bike, I could hardly stand up, I looked like Id drunk 10 pints, and I still had to get back home! I realise these examples are a little extreme, but are they? Have you ever being exercising and forced yourself through your comfort zone, because you thought that that would make you t and healthy?

Marcus Santer

Qigong15 - The Home of Qigong Goodness...

You know, that voice that says okay, thats enough quickly followed by that other voice that says come on just one more lap, dont be lazy. Ill let you into a little secret. From the chi kung approach to exercise, health and vitality most western exercise is insane. Traditional western exercises like running, cycling, aerobics put far too much strain on the human body and the internal organs. Think of it like this. Its like you are spending 100 to get 30 of benet. And thats ne when you are young and have an abundance of energy, or money in the bank to continue our metaphor. But what happens when you get older? What happens when you can no longer spend 100 for 30 of benet? What happens is your body suffers, you get injuries easier and it takes you longer to recover. Doesnt sound like a good recipe for health and vitality to me. Listen, I know it runs deeper than that. Here in the west we are very lookist. We are bombarded by media images every where we go telling us that we need to have a 6 pack or be slim if we want to be cool and loved and adored. So of course we all want to look our best, and thats ne. Im not saying that looking great is a bad thing! Just that some of the things we do to get there are not brilliant for our health and vitality. Here is why Chi Kung is so brilliant for health, vitality and energy. Using our money metaphor, practicing chi kung is like spending 30 to get 100 of benet. It is enjoyable and perhaps more importantly it is sustainable you can practice chi kung in your 80s (my oldest student so far started practicing chi kung when she was 83). I guess the truth of it is that if you value health, vitality, happiness and longevity then chi kung is probably the ideal solution for you. But if you just want to look good then youre going to have to go to the gym, pump iron or use the treadmill and exercise bike 3 or 4 times a week. Remember, if you are going to practice chi kung, then you need to practice it properly. And that means abandoning those slogans that youve grown up with. For example: No pain no gain in chi kung, pain is a signal that you are doing something wrong. Usually you are pushing yourself too hard or trying to do too much too soon. For it to be doing me good I need to be sweating and out of breath No! Remember most chi kung is a composite of GENTLE external movements coordinated with the breathing (which is relaxed and gentle) performed in a meditative state of mind. I remember asking a beginner student why they were pufng and panting when breathing in and out, they replied that they thought it would increase their results! Rest is for wimps in chi kung we place great importance on rest and relaxation.

Im sure you get the picture, as a chi kung instructor I nd it can often take a few months to help new students over write these slogans and replace them.

Marcus Santer

Qigong15 - The Home of Qigong Goodness...

I guess if I were to create a slogan for the correct practice of chi kung it would consist of just two words: Relaxed and Gentle. In a nutshell, when you are practicing chi kung, leave your ideas of traditional western exercise at the door and embrace the chi kung approach to living a happy, healthy and long life that of being relaxed, gentle and owing. Qigong Beginners Mistake #5 - Not Setting Clear Aims & Objectives Nobody ever wrote down a plan to be broke, fat, lazy and stupid. Those things are what happen when you dont have a plan! Larry Winget Or, The starting point of all achievement is denite knowledge of what one wants Andrew Carnegie

I know, I know, I can hear you now: Aims and objectives for chi kung practice? Man, whats wrong with you? Well my objective with this post is to convince you that having a plan for your practice is a desirable thing. I have personally helped my students to achieve better results with their chi kung practice, than many of them thought was possible. Because when you take chi kung/qigong training with me, one of the rst things we do is to sit down and work out why are you practicing chi kung and what do you want to get from your practice of chi kung? These are the very basic questions you must be able to answer. And if youre like the vast majority of people that have ever set an aim or an objective (well look at the difference shortly) and then failed to uphold it I can tell you why. If youve ever made a New Years resolution Im guessing you t into this category. The missing ingredient that transforms aims and objectives from being boring concepts that other people do into something that you cant wait to do is this: Excitement. Bet that surprised you. Excitement isnt necessarily the rst adjective that comes to mind when describing aims and objectives, but it is essential. The only goals Ive ever achieved were those that I was genuinely excited about achieving.

Marcus Santer

Qigong15 - The Home of Qigong Goodness...

Heres a quick example I use in my Shaolin Chi Kung book: Suppose there are two people who wish to give up smoking. One of them because they know its bad for them and they really should quit. The other feels the same, but also believes that giving up smoking will mean they will still be around to play with their grandchildren and be healthy enough to enjoy running and playing with them. Who do you think is most likely to succeed? So listen, if you set aims and objectives for your chi kung practice, or for anything then if you want to succeed, you better be inspired by them. So what is the difference between aims and objectives? Aims are long term and non-specic. Shaolin Chi Kung is the art of developing energy for: Health and Vitality Longevity Internal Force Mind Expansion Spiritual Cultivation These are also aims that you might choose for your practice. Objectives are specic and short term. Usually you expect to see good results in 6 months or less. For example you may have asthma and want to practice chi kung to overcome it. The following are some common objectives that chi kung students have: Cure a particular illness Increase stamina/energy so as to enjoy games Enhance martial arts ability Improve concentration and endurance at work enhance mental freshness, perception and creativity Improve sexual performance Increase or reduce weight Manage stress Increase knowledge of and ability in chi kung

Its also important to check the results youre getting and see that they are taking you in the right direction. Lets say my objective is to see a sun rise, but I keep running west, well Im going to see plenty of sunsets, but not a single sun rise. If Im measuring my results then I quickly discover that I have not achieved my objective and realise I need to change my action. If I dont measure my results, I could be heading west for a very long time. This is why I use a tool called the Progress Tracker with my students.

Marcus Santer

Qigong15 - The Home of Qigong Goodness...

As far as Im concerned the practice of chi kung is about getting results. I mean thats why youre practicing chi kung, to get some kind of result, right? Well, setting clear aims and objectives for your practice and then measuring those results to see if your practice is heading in the right direction is the quickest and simplest way I know to succeed with chi kung. The only other aspect to bear in mind when working with aims and objectives is to enjoy the journey and not just be happy when you reach your destination. Qigong Beginners Mistake #6 - Giving Up Too Soon Giving up too soon is a common mistake beginners make in many areas, but I see this very often in chi kung. I believe many people have unrealistic expectations based on much of the misleading hype surrounding the information available on chi kung. Lets get it clear that chi kung is no 30 day miracle cure. Practicing chi kung does not mean you will never get ill, it does not mean that unfair things wont happen to you and its not going to turn you into some kind of super dude with mystical magical powers like you see in the lms. Sorry to have to point that out. It is true that practicing chi kung has many immediate benets including promoting a sense of relaxed-ness and all round well being. But if you are practicing chi kung to overcome some specic illness, then depending on the severity of that illness and the length of time youve had it. Its going to take a minimum of 3 to 6 months for you to notice any measurable, signicant benets. And thats if you are learning directly under the guidance of a suitably qualied chi kung instructor. If youre learning from a book and you want to over come illness, good luck with that. I have to tell you that it takes commitment and discipline to succeed with chi kung. I know thats not sexy but I believe the results are worth the investment of time required. Ive covered plateaus in a post on my Qigong15 blog and Id advise you to read that post if your feeling stuck in your practice or that its going nowhere fast, like youre not making any improvement and youre tempted to give up on chi kung. If you feel like giving up on your chi kung practice I also recommend you take a close look at what your reasons were for starting chi kung in the rst place. Make sure you have clear reasons (aims and objectives see chi kung mistake number 5 for more details) and know why you are practicing chi kung, this process alone can help to get you back on track.

Marcus Santer

Qigong15 - The Home of Qigong Goodness...

Make sure your expectations from your chi kung practice are clear and realistic and youre much more likely to achieve them. Its hard to describe the sense of satisfaction from setting an objective that is important to you and then achieving it its quite addictive, in a good way! Qigong Beginners Mistake #7 - Only Learning From Books & DVDs Qigong is an art, and like all arts, to really master it, you need to learn it from someone else who his an expert in that art and the easiest, quickest, simplest, best way to do that is direct face to face. For a chi kung/qigong instructor who is an author of a book on Shaolin Chi Kung, and creator of an online, video based home study course this might sound like a strange subject for me to shout about. How can I say that learning chi kung from a book or video is a mistake, when I actively promote both of these? Glad you asked because it gives me another opportunity to go on record as saying that if you can learn chi kung from a suitably qualied instructor like me, then you should. But, over a decade of experience in the chi kung world has convinced me that there are many people who for whatever reason are not able to learn direct from a chi kung instructor, but who can still benet from chi kung. A good book on chi kung or a good dvd/home study course will hopefully prove to be the catalyst that will inspire you to travel and make small sacrices necessary to learn chi kung directly. I traveled 7000+ miles a year to learn from my teacher and spent a total of well over 18 000 in the process. But hear me now, when I say that you dont need to do that. Thats just a decision I made because chi kung is that important to me. Learning chi kung from a book is super hard, Ive mentioned that before, learning chi kung from a video is much easier, but the big problem is when you believe that the form is chi kung. It isnt it is just chi kung form, which isnt very good at: Improving Health and Increasing Vitality Increasing Longevity Increasing Internal Force Promoting Mind Expansion Enhancing Spiritual Cultivation

Which is why we choose to practice chi kung in the rst place. If you are book/dvd learning realise that the results (if any) that you get will be much less (and youll have to work harder for them) than if you learn directly from a chi kung instructor - thats a plain and simple fact.

Marcus Santer

Qigong15 - The Home of Qigong Goodness...

Remember, chi kung is a composite of form, energy and mind. You need to have all 3 to be practicing and get the benets of practicing chi kung. The energy and mind aspects are really difcult to get across correctly in book or dvd format. But its more than just that. When you are in the presence of a chi kung instructor, especially a really good one then you also benet from direct transmission. Im not even going to attempt to explain what that is. Enough to say that being in the presence of a great instructor goes beyond form, energy and mind learning. So, by all means, start learning chi kung from a book or a dvd/home study course (I can even recommend a few good ones!) but realise that if youre still bitten by the chi kung bug after a few months, then you really owe it to yourself to make the effort to learn chi kung directly from a good chi kung instructor youll be glad you did. Bonus Common Beginners Mistake Just quickly heres another common beginners mistakes Id like to shed light on. Always wanting to learn new forms - My chi kung teacher, teaches about 7 different chi kung courses. Ive taken the most basic one at least 10 times. Why? Because it helped me to really master the fundamental (read most important) skills of chi kung. But many people would never consider repeating the same course more than twice. And this isnt just a mistake students make in chi kung, its common in all areas of life. As humans we seem addicted to the thrill of something new. I remember years ago watching a famous football player taking a penalty during the world cup. I recall thinking about the massive pressure the player must feel and wondered how he could possibly make the kick. Well he did - and scored a goal. This prompted me to take a quick look into how professionals train in sports and I realised that they repeat important parts of their sport, over and over and over and over and over again. Success in chi kung is dependent on the skill level of the student, not the chi kung exercise they are practicing. A beginner could practice a super high level chi kung exercise like Big Universe and get less benets than a master practicing a super basic level chi kung exercise like Lifting the Sky - why? Because in chi kung - skill rules. Avoid the thinking that says: The more chi kung exercises you know the better at chi kung you are. Learning new chi kung exercises is a great way to dilute your focus. Id recommend you choose 2 or 3 chi kung exercises you really like and enjoy and spend most of your practice on those. This way you can really focus on developing the 3 core skills of chi kung: 1. Enter a QSOM 2. Flowing Breeze Swaying Willows 3. Standing Zen

Marcus Santer

Qigong15 - The Home of Qigong Goodness...

Concluding Words You are practicing chi kung/qigong because you want to get some result. If you avoid making the mistakes Ive mentioned above you will help to speed up the time it takes you to get that result, or results. Apart from mistake #7 I can hand on heart tell you that over the last decade of my chi kung practice I have made all of the above mistakes. I wish I could have had access to a report like this because I am certain that I would have spent less time making mistakes and more time getting results. So, please learn from my mistakes and gain the fruits of your chi kung practice quicker and easier. That would make me very happy. Enjoy your practice

Marcus James Santer

My name is Marcus Santer and I have been practicing Qigong for over 10 years and teaching for 5. I am the Author of Shaolin Chi Kung: 18 exercises to help you live a longer, healthier and happier life. I am the founder and chief instructor of Qigong15 and I am committed to raising the public profile of qigong through the spread of quality, fluff free information on how brilliant qigong is. I have learned Qigong from various sources but consider my true teacher to be 4th generation Shaolin Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit. He has taught me the most by far and is great source of inspiration.

Marcus Santer

Qigong15 - The Home of Qigong Goodness...